A Rookie’s Last Lesson

It’s 2 AM as I rolled the blacked out patrol car down the alley and parked. A crisp fog hung in the air and silver globes surrounded the streetlights. This morning was as damp and dark as it had ever been. The time had come for this Last Lesson with my rookie.

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This Recruit Deputy had ridden under my wing for two months after months with other Field Training Officers. He had passed all the tests and was as close to being a full grown Police Officer as I could make him. Tomorrow I would set him free – He would be on solo patrol for the first time in his life.

I had taught him how to walk into a room with command presence – where everyone instantly knew who was in charge. I taught him how to speak with the voice of ten men, filled with brimstone and determination. How to look into a man’s eyes. Lessons in how to shoot, how to stand, what to watch.

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Lessons in cover and concealment, law and order, threats and dangers.

I taught him that we are always Men of Honor – we don’t lie – That the People give us the power to arrest and kill them – we, at the very least, owe them an obligation of Truth.

I sat on the fender of the cruiser and lit a cigarette as the recruit stood nearby.

I begin, “Cub pay attention because this will be one of the most important lessons I can offer you. We don’t Quit – We fight through our fear and pain. Sometimes you may not see a clear path to victory but know you cannot lose. Enter every battle with a Warrior’s Mind.”

A car turns down the alley away from us.

I continue, “You have to swear an Oath to me right now. If the worst should happen, should your heart be blasted out the back of your chest you still have about 4 seconds of life left. Kill the mother fucker that killed you. Draw your gun, fight to your end, never quit.” I take a long draw on my Marlboro as I collect my next thought.

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“We all die alone unless we die together.”

The young Brother then swore his Oath to me. We hugged in the fog, in the dark, in the honor of his promise.

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PS: I have been reminded to remind you that I write in the voice of who I was on that day. I am a time traveler but I can only travel back into my own time…

© 2017, Michael Fulcher. All rights reserved.

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